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Cheese and wine platter

Your ultimate guide to how to plan a wine and cheese party

Your ultimate guide to how to plan a wine and cheese party

When was the last time you went to a wine and cheese party? If you need time to think about the answer, then we think it's definitely time to plan your own wine and cheese night.

Hosting wine and cheese parties is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your loved ones. You can sip some vino and try assorted tasty cheeses while catching up with each other, or you can bond over your shared love of wine. Sounds pretty good, right!

For a memorable, stress-free night, we've put together a step-by-step guide on how to plan a wine and cheese party.

How to plan a wine and cheese party:

1. Create an invitation

First, set your date and time, and then create your wine and cheese night invite!

Wine and cheese parties aren't supposed to be complete meals; but rather a fun appetiser or an after-dinner treat.

We recommend hosting your wine and cheese tasting at home from about 4 pm, if it's before dinner or a bit later in the evening at around 9 pm.

2. Pairing wines and cheeses isn't as important as you think

We know it's a wine and cheese party, so these two things are obviously going to be crucial for your event, but don't get caught up in trying to find the perfect wine and cheese pairing.

Instead, keep it simple and keep your sanity by selecting about six types of cheese with different textures and flavours. If your guest list calls for it, try and include some cheeses for those who are lactose intolerant.

To ensure there is enough for all your guests and yourself, we recommend you cater ½ ounce of cheese per person. Then, add a selection of nibbles to accompany your tantalising cheese selection and add variety to your menu.

Here are some of our favourite wine and cheese menu ideas:

  • Olives
  • Bread
  • Breadsticks
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Dates
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Cold meats

3. Ask your guest to bring a bottle to share

Another great way to take the pressure off when hosting your first wine and cheese evening is to ask your friends or family (aka your honour guest) to each bring a bottle of wine to share.

Reassure your guests that there's no pressure to bring something exotic or exclusive to share, which will help guarantee everyone is happily sipping at some point during your party.

4. Select white, red and champagne

When choosing your vino for the evening, be sure to cater for ½ a bottle of wine per person, plus two extra bottles, so you won't go dry before the event is over.

We love choosing wines to match our surroundings, and the weather on the day of your event will help you select the best wines for the occasion.

As a general rule, for warm weather, choose crisp whites or a rosé. On colder days, pick delicious, fuller-bodied reds. And, always include a bit of bubbly to celebrate the occasion.

5. Set your wine tasting table table

Set your table with three glasses per person, a white, a red and a glass of water to cleanse the palate and to keep your guests hydrated during the tasting.

Enjoy yourself, and don't try to be a wine expert. Your guests will feel far more comfortable exploring flavours, sharing and chatting if the experience is authentic and fun. Plus, it can come across as pretentious or stand-offish if you try too hard.

6. Plan a dish or wine to highlight

Mussels in a creamy white wine sauce, a classic shrimp cocktail or bruschetta topped with fresh tomato and basil, whichever you choose, be sure to select and highlight a particular vintage or a recipe that stands out and goes well with a signature snack or dish.

7. Choose whether it's inside or outdoors

Your setting is essential. So, choose a space that's going to feel spacious yet cosy. For hot summer evenings, you may want to host your cheese and wine party outside to enjoy a sunset as you sip on a glass of something refreshing.

If you're worried about pesky bugs and mosquitos while hosting outdoors, then all you need is a citrus-scented candle. Use our Citrus Grove candle to help you create soft lighting and a relaxing atmosphere while keeping insects at bay.

8. Have wine coolers

Just because it's a wine and cheese party doesn't mean you can't opt for a refreshing wine cooler instead of a glass of wine.

Serve your wine coolers or spritzers in stylish wine tumblers that will keep your drinks chilled for hours, or grab these sleek stainless steel wine tumblers as gifts for your wine and cheese party guests.

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